Third Trimester of Pregnancy
- 9 Months ago
You and your belly may be two-thirds of the way there, but your baby still has plenty of growing to do. And it may feel as if there's no way your belly can get any bigger, but there's no doubt about it - your belly will get bigger over the course of the third trimester of pregnancy. A lot bigger.
Your little one will get a whole lot larger too as he/she grows from about 2 1/2 pounds and 16 inches long (in week 28 of pregnancy) to between six and nine pounds and 19 to 22 inches long in week 40. He/she will also be test-driving some nifty skills like blinking and dreaming and regulating his own body temperature. By week 31 of pregnancy your baby will get signals from all five senses, perceiving light and dark, tasting what you eat, and listening to the sound of your voice (I hear you, Ma!). By week 32 of pregnancy, the see-through skin will become opaque. He/she may grow an inch in week 33 alone, so don't be surprised if the increase in size - paired with a decrease in living space - leads to some serious kicks and pokes in the stomach for you.
By week 36, you could have a six-pounder in there, with fat continuing to accumulate. Two weeks to go in week 38 as your baby sheds the vernix (the waxy substance that protects his/her skin from your amniotic fluid) and lanugo (the hairy coat that keeps them warm in there). All's pretty quiet through week 39, though you may find yourself waddling as your little bundle drops even lower in your pelvis. Week 40 of pregnancy: Congrats! Even though you may not have delivered, you've made it to the official end of your pregnancy. Latecomers (at least 50 percent of all babies) may not be ready for their big debut until week 41 or even week 42, but hang in there.
With that busy baby inside your belly, you're probably feeling lots of foetal activity. You may also be experiencing (totally normal) abdominal achiness and maybe even a few Braxton Hicks contractions as you get closer to the end of the third trimester. There may be some varicose veins and stretch marks, but try to keep your eye on the prize: your beautiful baby whom you'll meet in just a month or so! Chances are you're having some crazy dreams and some clumsy moments, along with a temporary lack of bladder control (you sneeze = you pee!). As D-day approaches, your breasts may leak (your milk machine's warming up) and you may experience false labour symptoms . Not to worry. You'll know the real thing when it happens, signalled by the bloody show, your water breaking, and contractions that intensify, rather than diminish, the more you move around.
At checkups, expect tests for glucose levels, anaemia, and group B strep during months seven and eight. In month nine, your doctor will perform an internal examination of your cervix to see if effacement and dilation (respectively, the thinning and opening of your cervix) have begun. Getting excited? You should be - it won't be long now until you meet your baby!